As refugees, many of us have skills, resilience and expertise. All we need is opportunity, not someone telling us how...
EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
Having spent three years being internally displaced and nine years as a refugee, all I ever craved for was access to education. Few believed in me, beyond the basic health and housing needs. I knew in spite of the trauma and physical pain, I still had a functional brain that could not wait to be stimulated. But the "powers there be" always think they know what is right for people in vulnerable situations. I did not necessarily need anyone to empower me because I was already empowered. All I needed was opportunity to maximise my brain capacity. So, here I am today with achievements beyond expectation. Rather than assuming that you know about refugee issues and how to solve them (and I do not think there is a durable solution as UNHCR claims); simply engage with (former) refugees who have the skills, expertise and lived experience. This is not to say that people without refugee experience can not be of help. Certainly not! Albeit, you and I know that millions have gone into whatever "the powers there be" decide to spend it on. But the challenge keeps revolving. It is as simple as ABC, just engage (former) refugees as equal partners and you'll see!
Refugees every where!
1. Identify refugees in my local area;
2. Organise consultation and collaboration meetings; and
3. Devise mechanisms to begin the process of addressing refugee education.
I have received feedback suggesting an incorporation of an experience map. I think the experience map is an awesome idea. However, I find it challenging to imagine for a second that I can devise a program for another person/group without engaging them. It is important to include refugees in all aspects of their education [PERIOD]!
SKILL SHARE (optional)
People with open-mind, critical thinking ability and willingness to move beyond their comfort zones.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
My name is Veronica Fynn, a born and bred Liberian war survivor. I am completing my PhD at the Australian National University's National Centre for Indigenous Studies and currently based at the University of Washington's School of Law as a visiting scholar.
IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?
Yes, and I am looking for a partner working with refugee communities to implement this idea.